Unless your basement is beautifully finished, it is a room that is often neglected and rarely ventured into, which puts it at particular risk of becoming damp. This moisture that can sit in your basement unnoticed provides the perfect conditions for mold, a fungus that can cause musty smells and is harmful to respiratory health.
Today we’ll guide you through how to identify dampness in your basement, what to do if that dampness has created the right environment for mold, and how to get rid of it.
There are a number of signs that will indicate your basement is damp, including:
Mold in basements is caused by moisture, whether that be direct contact from water or excess moisture in the air. More specifically, here are the most common causes of mold in basements:
Since the basement temperature is usually much lower than that in the other rooms of your home, condensation often forms. Cold air is unable to hold a lot of moisture and so condensation will occur on the basement windows and walls if warmer air is allowed to flow into the basement. The moisture from the condensation creates the perfect conditions for mold to grow.
If you don’t notice or fix a leaky pipe, water can often flow freely into the basement, causing it to become damp. Since leaks can be minor, a little damp can go unnoticed for days or weeks if the basement is unused. Similarly, a crack in the foundation or outer wall can allow moisture to enter the basement, providing the right environment for mold to form on the walls and floor.
If you live in an old house or your basement was not waterproofed properly, moisture can make its way into your basement, through the foundations, from the ground below or surrounding the basement walls
If you have a sink or bathroom in your basement that is rarely used, it can cause problems. While you may only use it once a week or so, the water sitting in the pipes can seep out over time, allowing moisture to build up in the basement.
Your basement may be a convenient place to do your laundry, however, a lot of the moisture from washing and drying your laundry will be released into the basement itself and if you don’t use a dehumidifier or if it doesn’t get enough air circulation from your HVAC system, moisture can accumulate, especially behind your washer and dryer.
If left untreated, not only will the build-up of mold in your basement result in an unpleasant, musty odor and potentially damage your belongings and home, but it can also be harmful to the health of your family and pets, particularly if someone suffers from asthma or any other respiratory-related issues.
Additionally, if you are planning to sell your home soon, a damp, moldy basement will drastically harm your ability to find interested buyers.
In most cases, if you find mold in your basement, you should call in a professional basement mold removal service, like Dry Ease in New York, to find the cause of the dampness in your basement and safely remove all the harmful mold.
The cost of basement mold removal depends on the extent of the mold, how it needs to be treated, and the size of your basement.
Typically, mold removal will cost a minimum of $500, depending on whether the mold needs spraying or scraping, whether a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) vacuum needs to be used, or encapsulation is necessary, or a combination of treatments.
According to HomeGuide, spraying costs $1-$9 per cubic foot, scraping costs around $1.25 per square foot, a HEPA vacuum costs $0.90 per square foot, and encapsulation costs anywhere from $5 to $79 per cubic foot.
If you’re in New York, Contact Us and one of our basement mold removal experts will be able to advise you and give you an accurate quote based on your specific circumstances.
Luckily, there are several ways in which you can help to prevent mold from growing in your basement, all of which work to reduce the level of moisture – the direct cause of mold. Here are some of our top tips:
If you have mild to moderate mold in your basement, you can clean it by yourself if the affected area is no larger than 10 square feet. You can use a household product like vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide and mix it with water. Carefully apply your mixture onto the floors, walls, and affected area and let it sit on the moldy area for about 10 minutes, then scrub and clean. After cleaning the area, make sure to completely dry the area. If possible, make sure to ventilate the area while cleaning by opening a window or running a fan while cleaning. Also always wear gloves, a face mask, and protective clothing.
If you have a bigger mold issue, you should hire a professional mold remediation company. They will sanitize and wipe all affected surfaces with antifungal and antimicrobial products. They also use HEPA air scrubbers, HEPA vacuums, and dehumidifiers to properly clean up the mold and mold spores in your basement. They will set up full containment so that the rest of your house does not get contaminated. Remember by hiring a professional, they will give you peace of mind knowing they have the expertise and training to properly remove mold. Hire a mold INSPECTOR HERE
If you find or suspect you have mold in your basement, contact a mold removal expert. It’s important to have the mold removed safely, without putting anyone at risk, and to find out what caused the mold in the first place so you can put it right.
If you’re looking for basement mold removal in New York, we’d love to help. With Dry Ease, you can be sure that your basement mold will be inspected and treated by professionals safely and thoroughly to ensure that any harmful mold is expelled from your home.
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